2022 - Ongoing
The Just Places Lab seeks to illuminate the ways in which city planning and visual media can aid in the transformation of public imagination to view urban waste as a resource in the remaking of city futures through tracing both the impacts of construction and demolition debris and the innovation in deconstruction and reuse of building materials. Through research and the production of maps, large-scale graphical posters, videos and an art exhibition, the Just Places Lab aims to unpack and refresh the relationship between our ideas of waste and the remaking of places.
A Regional Artistic Exploration with Youth by Kellen Cooks
The Dreaming-on-Hudson project aims to develop and test creative approaches to mapmaking alongside Hudson Valley high school students to define the endless ways that they understand the past and present of their communities, and dream about the future of them.
2020 – ongoing
The Just Places Lab is one of the founding partners in the CR0WD (Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development) network. CR0WD developed out of an alliance of community and academic leaders concerned with a vast system of building material waste within New York State. CR0WD seeks to advance sustainability, resilience and green jobs within the built environment. CR0WD partners conduct research and community engagement related to developing climate resilience through conservation of the built environment.
A selection of case studies of demolitions in Ithaca, New York.
Researched and written by students in CRP 5530: Land Use Planning Methods, taught by Dr. Minner.
Research and creative action for more than a decade
Mega-events, such as World Expos (also known as World Fairs or International Exhibitions) and the Olympics games, are large-scale mega-projects that restructure urban space in host cities. Coordinated by international organizations and enacted by host countries and cities, mega-events provide valuable case studies for the study of urban redevelopment schemes and their impacts. The Just Places Lab has been the site of a series of research projects and classes trace change over time at former mega-event sites, analyze controversies over urban development and displacement, and explore the preservation and interpretation of complex histories and questions of equity and sustainability at these sites.
Explorations in creative place-keeping
In several ongoing initiatives, Minner and students in the Just Places Lab have been exploring the ways in which art and creative place-making contribute to building and preserving the city - including its social identities, built environment, sense of place, and memories. Jennifer Minner has taught courses that bring together explorations in these domains including: Just Places? Community Preservation, Art, and Equity (Spring 2019); and Art, Preservation, and the Just City (Spring 2020), and Art Re-Building Cities (Spring 2021).
Students in Art Preservation and the Just City, an upper-division undergraduate and graduate special topics class, produced a pilot curriculum bringing together themes of creative practice, community, and social justice. Students prepared individual contributions to a shared educational kit or curriculum for youth focused on visualization of city systems, place patterns, community, and memory
2020 – 2021
In conjunction with research in the Just Places Lab, students in CRP 5530: Land Use Planning Methods were involved in creating equity indicators for local Green New Deal resolutions adopted by the City of Ithaca and the Town of Ithaca.
Core Concept / 2017 Workshop
The concept of 'equity preservation' emphasizes care for communities in such a way to achieve equitable outcomes and reinforce local community investment in the future of a place. The phrase is also meant to invoke the foundational ideas of 'Equity planning,' which called for focusing public resources on those who are most in need.* It also evokes 'sweat equity' and of the value of material preservation and building reuse as well social preservation. Ideally, equity preservation involves alliances that bring together historic preservation, social justice, and community development efforts.